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  • Writer's pictureJo Langham

Improving brainstorming: Our experimental research

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

When I talk about SparkTank I am often asked, "How do you know your process is better than traditional brainstorming?" or "What data have you got to show your results?" Well, I have done the research. No its not anecdotal. Yes its been peer reviewed.

We ran several experiments (and we continue to do this) on the SparkTank (patent pending) process. So for those of you who are interested - here is the abstract from the paper published in the quality - Design Management Journal (published by the Design Management Institute).

Article: simulating the cognitive leap using brainwriting

Simulating the Cognitive Leap Using Brainwriting

First published: 14 March 2021


Idea generation and brainstorming are most effective when conducted in groups and in person. However, in-person co-creation activities have many limitations.

The digital environment provides opportunities to ideate remotely and to enhance creativity. We designed an online experiment to assess the impact of brainwriting on the effectiveness of ideation. Our intention was to determine whether remote digital brainstorming could improve ideation, harnessing

diversity in experience and knowledge while problem solving. Results revealed that unusual and novel ideas occurred in approximately 53 percent of cases

using our simulated environment. Compared to the pre-session control activity, ideas generated were more sophisticated and included improvement in all cases.

Our experiment demonstrates that digital brainwriting can significantly improve the quality and quantity of new ideas.

If you would like to see the full article - you can access it through the DMJ here or you can contact me directly for a copy.

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